Tricks we can learn from Pakisthan


Senior Member
Feb 23, 2009
Tricks We can Learn from Pakistan


By T J S George

Pakistan may be a failed state politically and socially. But it is demonstrably successful militarily and diplomatically. More successful than India, if you want to rub it in, for they have achieved what they set out to achieve. We have not.

Different types of dictators ruled Pakistan. All of them had one immutable objective: Make the world recognise Pakistan as a hyphenated equal of the unequally bigger ( in size, population, economy) India. Pakistan has achieved that objective - in the early days with the connivance of Britain which was an interested party in the India-Pakistan confrontation in the UN over Kashmir, and subsequently with the help of China which ensured that, as soon as India exploded a nuclear device, Pakistan did too.

The smartness with which Pakistan plays the diplomatic game is best reflected in the mileage it gains vis a vis America, and the mileage we do not gain. In the Cold War era, it was simple: Pakistan just joined the American bloc while India ploughed the non-alignment path and thereby incurred America's wrath.

More recently the game has been subtler. Yet, otherwise bankrupt establishments like Pervez Musharaff's and Ali Zardari's have been playing it very cleverly. A US-Israeli strike against Pakistan's nuclear assets was widely speculated after America expressed fears of the Pakistani bombs falling into Taliban's hands. Suddenly the Pakistan Government joined the American side and genuinely went to war against the Taliban. Domestically it was a risk, but it won America's appreciation.

America's appreciation meant that Pakistan's real game - making India run around in circles - could be played on Pakistan's terms. Consider, for example, the toing and froing Pakistan has been doing with great relish over the Mumbai terror attack. And consider America's all-words-and-no-action reactions to it.

More pointed from America's policy perspectives was the fact, revealed by the New York Times, that Pakistan had been illegally modifying anti-ship missiles and maritime surveillance aircraft for attacks on India. The US Government lodged a formal protest and Pakistan formally denied the charge. That, for all practical purposes, was that.

As India fumed in its characteristically vegetarian style, Musharaff rubbed salt into the wound saying publicly that arms provided by America to fight Islamic terrorists were instead used to bolster defence against India. Forget his subsequent retraction under pressure, for he was speaking the truth when he said he was "proud he did it for Pakistan". America said it took Musharaff's disclosure seriously. That, presumably, was that.

This is the same America that made such a fuss about the end-user clause in its nuclear deal with India. Unlike India, Pakistan uses the clause as a joke. Which seems all right with the US. Last March the Obama administration was reportedly considering increasing developmental aid to Pakistan three times ( current rate $ 450 m. a year) and boosting military aid as well (currently $ 300 m. a year). Obviously, Pakistan knows how to manipulate American yardsticks to its advantage and how to get away with it. Can we imagine a Manmohan Singh or an A.B.Vajpayee signing the end-user agreement as America wants and then twisting it " proudly for India".

Adding insult to injury, India paid nearly Rs 13 crores in three years to Barber Griffith and Rogers, a Washington lobbying company, to get the nuclear deal passed by the US Congress. Pakistan also must be employing lobbyists in Washington. But they get in return what they want. We get what the Americans want. As a bonus we also get American travel advisories asking its citizens to stay away from India. Now we know why Ali Zardari is always plastered cheek to cheek with a grin hearty and toothy at once.

About the author: TJS George is a well-known journalist, columnist and author. He began his career in Bombay's Free Press Journal in 1950 and moved through the International Press Institute, The Searchlight and the Far Eastern Economic Review to become the founding editor of Asiaweek (Hong Kong). He is currently the Editorial Advisor of The New Indian Express.


Feb 19, 2009
i suspect the author of the article has misread the situation and is taking a wrong case as a case study for us to emulate. pakistan has gained influence at what cost, if any thing pakistan right from its early days post independence till date has been a rent out state and they adjust their policies so as to adjust the concerns of the bigger, mightier powers such as the us, the ksa and the prc. does the author want india to emulate something similar? has the author observed that even when he says that pakistan has been fairly successful on the military and diplomatic front the same has been possible only at the mercy of the us, and how deeply the decision making process on both these fronts is deeply influenced by the us.

india on the contrary is a fiercely independent state which has rarely ever allowed such external influences to make way to our decision making. in any bargain the cost associated is the most important factor and even today as we get closer to the us we want to make sure we are not in certain ways forced to listen out to their concerns and then form our policies adjusting such concerns, not to say we have so far successfully scuttled out that pressure and here iran and our policies around that country are worth a mention, but still by and large we have not fallen to american pressures like the pakistan has.

a better point in case should have been the prc, which has risen to be decent world power and the same has been achieved with out them compromising much on a lot of issues and certainly not their sovereignty and decision taking ability on foreign policies, on the contrary it the other world powers which have been more keen to address their concerns and make way for them to a larger world stage, so which model of the two (pakistan or the prc) is more inspiring?

as far as washington listening to islamabad's concerns is concerned, it is prudent to their short term (read afpak), and long term interests that they do the same. has anyone seen how the world would shape up, lets say a decade from today, and during the same time how india would react to the us, or how the prc would position it self. its an absolutely uncertain world, and people who are more than willing to adjust their ways as per others concerns then why loose out on such loyalists.

one would be extremely proud of our policy makers if we get to have our say in the international fora with more influence with not much to loose in the bargain, and certainly unlike pakistan. it is high time we started discussing more and more china than a certain pakistan, if we cant stop comparing our selves to pakistan, how do we expect pakistanis to stop comparing themselves to us, high time we as a nation moved on!


Senior Member
Aug 28, 2009
correction in the first post , we were non aligned that is true , but that was just an eye wash , we were very well with Soviet Union . because of the same reason in 1971 war USA was afraid that If Indian win the war ( which we did ) there would be soviet influence , hence to show solidarity US to pakistan A, nimitz class AC was sent to check IN advances
to that without asking for Soviet help ,soviet send its 2 akula subs behind nimitz so thatUSA does not do anything stupid

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